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Favorite Classes/Professors


Parker Polluck (’63, ’67, Economics)

First Week: Frosh Camp conducted many activities on and off campus for new students but you were asked to wear a beanie. This all took place the week before classes began. I missed most of it as football practice was twice a day with a great free lunch set up in the gym all provided by the Big Four restaurant which was located below campus and a bit to the north up 101.

Favorite professor: Dr. Robert Dickerson (Econ), Coach Phil Sarboe & Dr. Don Karshner (Dean of Men)

Favorite class: Industrial Relations, Labor Economics & Economic History all taught by Prof. Dickerson.  He was dedicated to his field and was enthusiastic in class. He influenced my teaching of econ in a myriad of ways.

Groups and activities: I was a member of Delta Sigma Phi, played varsity football for four years and taught first year econ as a graduate student. The fraternity was great for a social life; football allowed me to meet some really fine men and to play on Humboldt’s first undefeated team which amassed a 20 & 0 record over two seasons, albeit we lost by a point in the Holiday Bowl in 1960; and the teaching experience convinced me that teaching would be my career, which it was for 42 years.

Study: The library which was at the south end of Founders’ Hall.

Miss about Humboldt: The people I worked with over the summers at Arcata Redwood Co.  I was a gyppo car loader and my partner and I split $1.20 per 1000 bf.  I also really miss going to the beach.

Special: The community/campus unity was impressive, really stands out in my mind.


Kate Goodenough (’00, Marine Biology)

First week: It was intimidating at first because I was an older student attending HSU, but then I met a group of students around my age and I found that I wasn’t the only older student at Humboldt. I loved the smaller class sizes because it meant I could get to know my professors better.

Favorite professor: Dr. Dennis Walker was my general botany professor. He was tough as nails, but I learned more with him as my professor than any other class I took at Humboldt. His passion for plants drew me in and encouraged me to learn more.

Favorite class: I had so many favorite classes that I cannot even choose. Intertidal ecology, plant taxonomy, animal development, mammalogy, and history of rock and roll were just a few of my favorites.

Groups and activities: Field Biology Club and the Marine Mammal Education and Research Program were the two main groups I was involved with. They were the start to a very long career in field biology and coastal and marine research.

Humboldt connection: My life long connection to Humboldt has been all of the alumni that I have met across the country. I have worked from California east to the Carolinas and I have always found someone who either attended Humboldt or had a friend or family member who had attended. I never realized what a great reputation Humboldt had for wildlife biology until after I graduated and was working in the field.

Study: My favorite place to study was under the Redwoods back behind the Wildlife Building. It was quiet and very peaceful.

Miss About Humboldt: I miss the Redwoods and spending the day on the south spit of the Bay. I also miss going down to the Marina and buying albacore tuna from the fishing boats and going salmon fishing.


Mark Cotright (’76, Art)

Reese Bullen. It’s a name on a building to some but for me it’s so much more.
He became my mentor and unknown to me at that time his lessons influenced an ethic in me that holds true to this day. I had no idea that what he taught me would become my full time profession in life for more than 40 years now.

I started out with ceramics in high school in 1969 in long Beach ,Ca. moved to Humboldt in 1971 and took a year and half of junior college at CR.-transferred as an art student to Humboldt state in 73. I met Reese that first quarter in ceramics, as that was my main interest in art. Over the next decade I got to know him very well. I graduated in early 1976 with a BA in art with as much ceramic work I could absorb and during that time had made friends with Reese and his wife Dottie. I did some property work for him as well as house sitting and helped him move from their close to campus house to one on the coast near Trinidad. I ended up buying one of his kilns and he passed on his calligraphy and clay tools to me, as he got older.
He instilled a work ethic into me that is part of my everyday nature now. Working thru issues with clay or life with a focus and honest approach.

I learned much about glazes and firing and technique ceramics from him but what I recall most was his great stories about life love and war (he was on Oahu during the pearl harbor attack in the military) and his jokes.

I choose to stay in Humboldt after school and have been here ever since making pottery for a living running Liscom Hill Pottery. You may see my ceramic work around the county or my booth at 4th of July or North Country fair in Arcata but what you really are seeing is a student of Reese Bullen who is still working on the knowledge he passed on to me.

Whenever I see his name on the gallery wall at HSU I’m so thankful I got to know him as the great man he was passing on lessons in life that still ring true today for me.


Daniel Mandell (’79, History)

Favorite professor: Thomas Cooper, who taught photography at HSU circa 1977-80.  I took all of his classes, the advanced one more than once, and worked as his lab and teaching assistant the summer of 1979 after I had officially graduated.

Groups and activities: I started studies at HSU in the fall of 1975, after a year of living in Israel.  There was no Jewish student group, so I started the Jewish Student Union and, with a small but great and active core organized a series of activities.

The most amazing was the Passover seder that we organized the first year, in April 1976.  We decided to invite any and all who wished to attend, so made it a potluck (no pork or bread, please), bought a large order of matzo and other necessities, and reserved the old Arcata Community Center with the hope that 25 or perhaps a few more might come. We were shocked when over 180 people packed the building. It became a transcendent evening.

JSU members scattered around the various tables so that, as we went through the ritual story of Passover and the symbols, all could (and did) feel involved. I have attended, organized, and run many seders since, but that remains the most meaningful and magical one, and it sealed my connection to the community. My work with the JSU was my first leadership experience, which has been helpful in life after HSU. But more important is the memory of that wonderful loving seder.

Miss about Humboldt: Redwoods, waves, fog, banana slugs, the Arcata Co-op, and the people.

Graduation: Instead of the usual commencement address, a math professor gave a fascinating talk on the history of computers. Now that I’m a college professor and frequently attend graduation ceremonies, it’s one of those memories that I pull out to entertain and amaze my colleagues.


Roger Bucholtz (’71, Social Sciences)

First week: I was one of the first groups to live in Humboldt Village by the Auto Shop. They put 8 students to a trailer and in our first week. We had numerous water fights and got everything wet, ourselves and the inside of the trailer. One water fight on Friday night, we doused a bus full of high school students going to Redwood Bowl for a football game. The trailer complex flooded during the rains until they put in a central drain.

Favorite professor: Dr. Raymond Barratt was the Dean of Science and when I petitioned to use my science classes for my Social Science degree he counseled me to get a minor in Botany.  He even tutored me in the late afternoon on Organic Chemistry so I could pass Dr. Lovelace’s Plant Physiology class. Dr. Barratt somehow got me accepted in to Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania for a summer program in horticultural, which included students from the most prestigious schools in horticulture like Cornell, Michigan State and Purdue. In the 20 years they had the program, I was probably the only Social Science major they ever allowed.

Favorite class: Plant Taxonomy with Dr. James Payne Smith.  I fell in love with the subject and did very well in the course as well.  I would have gone into the field but Jim said there were no jobs and if I loved plants, I should go into horticulture. And that’s what I did: I got a degree in Ornamental Horticulture from CPSU, San Luis Obispo.

Groups and activities: I was involved with the Newman Club and the California Native Plant society.

Humboldt connection: Humboldt felt like home and I still have a soft spot in my heart for it even though I went on to several other universities, finally getting my masters at UC, Davis in PPPM.

Study: Used to study in the empty classrooms in Founders Hall on weekends or in the library.

Miss about Humboldt: The small intimate classes and the great outdoors.

Graduation: The pits, it was held in the gymnasium as it was raining, it was the first graduation that Cornelius Siemens couldn’t attend and it rained.

Special: I befriended several of the gardeners on campus and became lifelong friends. I still have several close friendships with people I met at HSU.


Rick Hoffmann (’68, Forest Management)

Dr. David Lauck and his forest entomology class changed my life. I was finishing my BS in Forestry and took the dreaded forest entomology class. It was difficult. He was demanding, but a magical teacher. I absolutely fell in love with the science. I went on to get a master’s degree in Biology/Entomology, worked for 17 years in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) on citrus insect pests for UC Berkeley and did some foreign IPM consulting in Morocco and Spain. I married a microbiologist studying viruses of stored product insect pests.

To Dr. Lauck, or his memory, thank you.


Deanna Chew (’93, Marine Biology)

First week: It was quite an overwhelming and exciting experience. It was the first time I was so far away from home. I was also excited about starting my journey to earning a biology degree. I had loved biology since I was young, so I knew HSU was the best choice for me because of its location and professors.

Favorite professor: I had two, Dr. Rasmussen, my advisor, and Dr. DeMartini. They both influenced my path toward graduation. Dr. Rasmussen helped me by suggesting I get tested for academic challenges. Thanks to him, I got the assistance I needed for my learning disability. He was also very supportive in encouraging me to never quit on my dream of graduating with a biology degree.  Dr. DeMartini also encouraged me to learn word roots, which was a great skill in biology.

Favorite class: Mammalogy with Dr. Tim Lawlor. I loved studying one of my favorite subjects, mammals. I especially liked the marine mammal skulls and visiting Dr. Lawlor’s property, where he accidentally caught a skunk.

Groups and activities: I was a member of the swim team and the Humboldt Orientation Program class. I also participated in the environmental education volunteer program at the Youth Educational Services building.

Humboldt connection: I feel the most growing up I did as a person was volunteering at the Y.E.S. House with the environmental education program. It allowed me to teach kids about something I loved, while having fun. I also grew up during the retreats with the Humboldt Orientation Program. The retreats really allowed me to look at myself, to be more open and have confidence.

Study: I loved the Fish and Wildlife Student Lounge. I enjoyed the animals around me. I would also study in a small area in between the science buildings, where a professor used to live years ago.

Miss About Humboldt: I miss the Redwood Forest.

Graduation: It was fun. I sat right next to my lab partner from invertebrate zoology. It was nice to have finally graduated. I also had my family and friends there for support. It meant a lot to me. The weather was beautiful.

Special: I feel the personal growth and sense of accomplishment affected me for the rest of my life. I value my time at HSU and will always have fond memories of my time there.


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Who was your most influential professor at HSU & why?- HSU 100

  • Aaron Gallo: Terry Halmo Baby!
  • James Clark: John Heckle. Theatre Arts. He taught us to be free artists and to create without boundaries.
  • Anthony Lapiz: Greg Young. He’s taught me endless professional and life skills through debate.
  • Ian Lauer: Ryan Campbell!
  • Amanda Watson Boyd: Tony Silvaggio, always a great class to be in. Passionate about his work, great class discussions, very thorough and inspirational to others in the Sociological field.
  • Genie Curti-Ruddle: Walt La Due aka “Doc”-speech & hearing sciences: he made me what I am today: a strong advocate for children!
  • Enzo Pivirotto: Scott Panyton, he inspired me to pursue Communication as my field of study. I can’t thank him enough!!
  • Michael Frost: Dr. Saaed Mortazavi. He works harder than ANY other professor to keep HSU honest and affordable to all students.
  • Kristen Currie Robinson: Gary Brusca! Hands down. He had an amazing teaching style complete with fabulous stories! He made learning such a pleasure.
  • Felicity Jo Hand: Joanne Berke!
  • Jennifer Anastasi: John Stuart in the Forestry Department. He always asked why is a redwood better than a shrub? He put things into perspective from a relative point of view. He had so much knowledge in the coastal/Klamath regions of plant life. I see things so differently now.
  • Michelle Kowsari: Daniel Faulk. Empowerment!!!
  • Nicole Hernandez: Dr. Death Botany
  • Sally Keenan: Bettye Elmore, Infant and Child Psychology. I was just talking about her to my boyfriend the other night and it’s been 30 years since I’ve been in her classes. An oustanding woman, personally and professionally.
  • Sean Carlson: Chris Haynes inspired me to be a geography major. He was great.
  • Pedro Cruz: Dr. Frank! Best botany prof ever! Hope he’s still teaching.
  • Roberto Mejia: Greg Young. Most awesome bear person, debate coach and professor.
  • Kelly McNicholas: Sharon Brown!! So dedicated and fun she could inspire the love of math in anyone. Glad I can count her as an amazing professor and friend.
  • Christy Hill: Carolyn Wider-Ward. Natural Resource Interpretation. I only got a Post-Bacc cert from HSU, so I was only there 1 ½ year. HSU was an awesome experience!
  • Christian Gandy: There are two for me, from the Geology Dept: John Longshore (RIP) and Bud Burke. Both taught me a great deal about geology and life.
  • Alex Bednar Veazey: Stephan Wright!! Amazing math teacher and completely hilarious
  • Kathleen McGinn: Steve Brusca--Astronomy. He got me interested in the world outside of my own little bubble.
  • William Nettles: Marianne Ahokas for English 105. Introduction to Literature because she crafted my interest and many others toward the love of reading and writing. Her approach to teaching students is magnificent. Everyone always wanted to hear what she had to say. Her advice, experience and guidance was golden. She was always focused and sincere and clearly had a passion for her subject matter whether poetry or prose. Freshman take her class it’s amazing. And Eugege Novotney for Music 302: World Music because this man has such a passion for music that every student even the ones who didn’t really care about passing wanted to get A’s in his class. He had this effect of simplifying critical information to a students interest and making them want to learn instead of just cramming. I am so thankful for that class and highly recommend it for your upper div. requirement. On top of that he is a Calypso music professor and when you hear him and his students play it brightens up your whole day. That man is a musical genius with very rare instruments from all over the world and a heart of gold.
  • Darren Cooper: Russ McGacky, Jim Dodge, Vince Gotera.
  • Kat Beckley: Dr. Gatle Olson- Raymer. Badass woman. I hope to be like her. Seriously, badass and she actually cares about her students life outside of class.
  • Kristin Smith: Tom Hones, Darwin & Darwinism. He taught me to think critically and absolutely changed the way I look at life. Wonderful man and gifted teach.
  • Amy Abbott: Patty Siering. Brilliant, kind, funny and inspirational.
  • Cheryl Fehd McHugh: “Doc” Wait LaDue in the Speech and Hearing Sciences...he supported me when I needed it the most!
  • Michael Hibma: @Kat Beckley--seconded!
  • Molin Jiang: Dr. Saaed Mortazavi is the soul and Pro. Dove Bryne is the foundation of Humboldt State University School of Business.
  • Teryl Wakeman: Profs Abdul Aziz, Frank Marks, Ann Burroughs, Sharmon Kenyon, Martha Weil, and ALL at the Library!
  • Sean Burns: It’s a tie between Greg Young and Anne Paulet
  • Ryan Williamson: Jeff Dunk. Always brought the best attitude.
  • Michael Wold: I was going to say Dunk as well!
  • Missy Creekmore: Jennifer Eichstedt, hands down
  • Corin Morgan: Chris Haynes! No contest!
  • Erin Reimer: Victor Golla (Anthropology/Native American Studies) was a wealth of wisdon, and thirding the Jeff Dunk love. Go voles!
  • Milo Dodds: Dr. Saeed Mortazavi-his integrity, depth of knowledge and ability to teach. Soft spoken but very powerful. You didn’t want to miss his class because it was always concise and full of critical information.
  • Veronica Contreras Marta: Omg I have many. Steve Stamnes (retired sociology prof), Betsy Watson (retired sociology prof) and Christian Martinek (sociology stats prof). And many others! I can’t just pick one.
  • Bev Borges: Bruce Haston, Politcal Science-1970. Great person, knew his subject and encouraged me to think and to become more politically active. I loved his classes.
  • Mohamed Ishnaiwer: Micheal Eldridge!
  • Lance Bacon: Gary Carver- Geology. His passion and excitement for geology was contagious and he is the reason I am where I am.
  • Janice Heppe: Adam Honea. Great life lessons learned in addition to Geology!
  • Elyse Rosansky-Brett: Claire Knox for the Child Development Department!! So inspirational and super sweet!
  • Janice Bresee: Mr. Taylor in Business Administration 1970. He was so interesting that I changed my major as a sophomore from French to Bus. Admin. Interestingly enough it landed me a job in Financial Aid for 39 years.
  • Genevieve Deven: Susan Edlinger Marshall...her love for Wildland Solis is contagious!
  • Linda Walter Rowley: Education-Libby Ward
  • Leslie Perkins: Good to see Tony Silvaggio on this list already- he was one of my most inspiring teachers!! Also Dr. Marisol Cortes-Rincon, Anthropology. If it weren’t for her I wouldn’t be into Archaeology. Taking Anthropology of Warfare solidified my path to my second BA.
  • Emilem D’Oranger: Elizabeth Watson, Judy Little, Sing Chu, Mary Bockover and last but not leat, Tim McMillan!!
  • Joe Devoogd: Jason Plume because he looks like Louis CK.
  • Lori Wolf Tracy: Caleb Rosado. He was the reason I switched my major to Sociology.
  • Jim Selle: John Gai, Ken Makamura, Ronnie Swartz, et alia social work faculty.
  • Lisa Carson: Two kick butt psych profs: Mary Gruber and Bettye Elmore.
  • Eileen Sterns: Dr. Frank Marks, Mr. Charles Moon and Dr. Hubert Kennemer!
  • Julia Sweet: Another vote for Mary Gruber!
  • Levi Mogg: Dr. Robert Cliver and Dr. Gayle Olson-Raymer changed my life.
  • Kim Ball: Nancy Frost was an amazing person, professor and chair person for HSU’s Child Development Department! Nancy was a positive influence on me. She always demonstrated her passion and expertise in everything that she did to help me during my college days at HSU!!
  • Price Cusolito: Benjamin Shaffer, because he reinforces why I love philosophy.
  • Scott Steve Morrison: Maryanne Levine, a member of now defunct Nursing Dept. She made me realize that nursing wasn’t a job just for women. And the late Tom Knight, who made Photography an art form.
  • Jean Ross Zedekar: Dr. Grace Clissold. She was the dept head for the Nursing Program in the early 70’s. I was ready to drop out of the program by junior year...she convinced me to stay and finish. I have been a full time RN for the past 39 years...thank you Dr. Clissold!!!
  • Christine Hischar: Dr. Franny Givins in Physical Education.
  • Linda Mellema: Gary Brusca because he knew so much, expected so much, and shared the glory of the magical invertebrates. I sure do miss him.
  • Krissy Dodge: Eugene Novotney was probably the best teacher I ever had. His passion for his craft was infectious. Even several semesters after taking his Music in World Cultures class, I would sometimes sneak in and listen to one of his lectures. It always brightened my day just to hear him speak. This was years ago and I still make it to every percussion concert I can.
  • Bryan Wagner: Melanie Williams- Poly Sci Professor. Extremely knowledgable, approachable, and way ahead of the times. First person I ever heard talk about the Green Party, sustainable development and many other things that are now being brought up in the mainstream. I will always cherish the memories of our roadtrip around the country, camping out, singing songs and learning about companies that started in organic revolution.
  • Cameron Malcolm: Ronnie Swartz and Ken Nakamura. Their classes changed my life. From the first day of classes I knew I was in the right place at the right time. Thank god for HSU and the social work department.
  • Bret Leighton Barnes: Mark Wilson in the Biology Department. Such in depth knowledge of everything from basic biological processes to profound genetic topics. Mark was the man!
  • Marina Hartnell: Jandy Bergmann
  • Kate Clark: Ivan Hess and Richard Rothrock, Theatre Arts...way back in the 70’s...
  • Kathy Cox: The History Department c. 19884 Dr. Sievers, Tanner, Sundstrom and McBroome
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